Steve Turnbull reached the heights of the Miracle Mile when Smooth Satin won NSW’s most prestigious harness racing crown in 2001.
Almost two decades ago, the Miracle Mile was then worth $400,000 but after Thursday’s announcement the 2019 Harness Racing NSW feature will carry a record purse of $1million the March-run event is now the richest harness racing event in the southern hemisphere.
And the 62-year-old is keen for another crack at the riches on offer.
“It’s great news, and it’ll be even better if I can get one good enough to be in it,” Turnbull laughed.
A living legend of HRNSW, Turnbull has had four cracks at the Miracle Mile, three of those with champion pacer Smooth Satin.
He said Joe’s Star Of Mia and Conviction were both heading towards being Miracle Mile ready in the new year but finding a horse capable of winning such a big race was always a dream.
“You’re always trying to get those types of horses, but they only come around once or twice in a lifetime,” the Lagoon-based Turnbull added.
“I just hope prizemoney everywhere goes up as well.
“I know the Inter Dominion dropped down to $500,000 this year, it’d be great if both were up there.”
The prizemoney increase from $750,000 will make the Miracle Mile the most lucrative harness event ever held in New South Wales, a move Club Menangle chairman Ray Sharman says will give all stakeholders something to be proud of.
“Any increase in prizemoney must be both affordable and sustainable and today’s announcement is the result of the collaboration between Club Menangle and HRNSW,” Sharman said.
“I am confident that such a significant lift in prizemoney for the Miracle Mile will ensure that connections of all our Grand Circuit horses will endeavour to secure their place in this great race, further raise the profile of harness racing both in NSW and nationally.
This thought was echoed by HRNSW chairman Mr Rod Smith.
You’re always trying to get those types of horses, but they only come around once or twice in a lifetime.Trainer-driver Steve Turnbull.
“Harness Racing NSW in 2019 has increased grassroots prizemoney by 20 per cent and is now excited to be able to join with Club Menangle to increase the prizemoney for the Ainsworth Miracle Mile to $1million,” said Mr Smith.
“These prizemoney injections are fully funded by the harness racing industry and assures a strong future for our code of racing.”
Adding to this announcement, prizemoney has also been increased for the Newcastle Mile on February 8 to $100,000.
Elevating the feature to Group 1 status for the first time, the Newcastle Mile will also be a Miracle Mile qualifier where the winner will receive an automatic invitation to the Grand Circuit event.
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